New Delhi: Is the Indian Army unfit? An internal audit of the Army conducted in 2011 by the Controller of Defence Accounts has raised questions about the quantity and quality of food being fed to the men. The audit says normal military diet could be three times more than what is recommended by the ICMR. The Army has dismissed the findings.
According to the audit report, the recommended dietary intake of cereals for normal human consumption is 460 grams per day, while the Indian Army gives 600 grams per day.
As for pulses the recommended norm is 40 grams. The Army's prescribed scales are more than double. Similarly the medical body ICMR recommends 30 grams of sugar per day. The men in uniform get 90 grams.
The ICMR recommends just 30 grams of meat per person per day as ideal for health but according to the audit report army men get 100 grams of fresh meat. In case of potatoes only 50 grams is permissible but the Indian Army gets 100 grams on a standard basis.
The audit report also refers to two other anomalies that the same scale of food items is provided to army personnel across all age groups. And number two, since food consumption also depends on the nature of the job being done, those deployed in widely divergent terrains and climate may need a higher calorific value than those in warm areas.
Further, the level of physical activity also varies from administrative duties to strenuous physical ones, so should the scale of rations.
The Indian Army in its response has dismissed suggestions saying comparing service rations to the recommended ICMR norms is an incorrect comparison. Further, it believes if compared to international scales of UN ration, the Indian soldier is getting far less.